The second part of my three-part series of interviews looking at the creation of new BBC animated drama Meta4orce continues as Executive Producer Rick Palmer and Director, Producer and Editor Alex Norris take time out to discuss the programme and their hopes its future.
Jonathan Melville: Can you tell me a bit about your background?
Rick Palmer (Executive Producer): My background is in online. In the late 90’s I set up and ran the largest independent film site in the UK, Reelscreen.com, which I sold to Future Publishing PLC in late 1999. Subsequent to that I founded BLOC Media as a digital agency working for clients in the entertainment industry and more recently the company has started to develop cross-platform formats such as Meta4orce.
How did the idea for Meta4orce come about?
Rick Palmer: The BBC approached us with the idea to create a new Teen Detective Drama for BBC Switch, but the actual format, story and world were left to us to develop.
We really wanted to bring some comic book sensibility to the story and John, our Creative Director and Assistant Producer on the show, was pretty adamant the story be set in the future so that we could have some fun with technology and the world around them.
We then approached one of our all time favourite comic book writers about the series and were over the moon when he agreed to get involved.
How similar is it producing an interactive series to a traditional TV series?
Rick Palmer: I’ve no experience producing traditional TV so wouldn’t presume to answer this, however from many years of experience developing highly successful online formats for companies including CBBC and PlayStation, I would suggest that the addition of a fully interactive version of the show adds significantly to the overall work involved.
What has it been like working on the series? Is there a buzz surrounding it?
Rick Palmer: Meta4orce has been a fantastic series to work on and a significant commission for BLOC Media. Getting the chance to work with such a highly respected comic book writer, as well as an amazing animation and interactive team has made the series a joy to work on.
And the feedback from TV and web viewers and the client has made the project really worthwhile.